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First ever liver disease shunt procedure carried out by Mater Dei doctors

€10,000 transjugular protosystemic shunt procedure carried out in Malta by Italian and Maltese doctors.

Staff Reporter
28 February 2016, 10:30am
Parliamentary secretary for health Chris Fearne with Dr Kelvin Cortis
Parliamentary secretary for health Chris Fearne with Dr Kelvin Cortis
A first-of-its-kind intervention at Mater Dei Hospital saved the life of a 48-year-old man who had a transjugular protosystemic shunt (TIPS) performed.

A TIPS procedure is used to insert a shunt within the patient’s liver.

Hepatobiliary radiologist Dr Kelvin Cortis explained that liver disease sufferers experience an expansion of their livers which place pressure on the surrounding veins, creating a risk of haemmorage and eventual death.

Health parliamentary secretary Chris Fearne said the TIPS procedure was a result of recent investment in doctors’ training. Cortis was rained in both Palermo and London, and the €10,000 procedure in Malta was carried out with doctors from Palermo’s ISMETT institute.

An average of six TIPS procedures are expected to be carried out in Malta every year.

“We’re working hard on liver diseases, such as hepatitis C. Last year we started dispensing the Harvoni drug, which costs thousands for each individual recipient but gives liver disease sufferers a new life,” Fearne said.